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Music Resources (UNH Durham): Books & Scores

Searching for Books and Scores

While searching for books may seem straightforward, searching for scores can come with some challenges. Many many titles are simply "Symphony" and may be complicated by spellings in different languages (Sinfonia, Symphonie, etc.). As with other searches, think of as many keywords, related words (such as composer) and variations as possible and be persistent.

Libraries have found some ways to help with these challenges, including the use of "uniform titles" and subject headings. Brown University's Music guide provides more information:

Use the Ask A Librarian chat box or question form to the right to ask us for help. We know this can be tricky!


Databases and Online Collections

Browsing Library Collections

Common call number ranges for Music

Music: M

Literature of Music: ML

Musical Instruction and Study: MT
MT includes composition, orchestration, instrumental techniques, singing and voice culture, and music in theaters.

These call numbers are in Dimond Library Level 4 (one floor up from the main level). Scores are often larger than typical books and may be in the Oversize section of Level 4.

Books are arranged by subject, so browse for related books next to the title you are looking for.

How to read a call number using Library of Congress classification

Ask A Librarian

Keyword & Subject Searching

Keyword Searching

  • you choose word(s)
  • words can be anywhere in the database record
  • may return many irrelevant results
  • flexible but can miss useful items if your terms are not included in relevant records

Subject searching

  • word(s) or term(s) designated as subjects or descriptors in that particular database
  • these describe the content of the article
  • only the subject field is searched
  • usually retrieves the most relevant results
  • less flexible since you need to know the correct subject terms for that database

To find subject headings

  • check subject or descriptor field in the most relevant records you find through keyword searching
  • look for a subject list or thesaurus in the database